Found November 03, 2012 on
For the most part, St. Cloud State sophomore Kevin Levandoski is a typical Division II college basketball player. Last year as a freshman, the 6’0” guard played about 8 minutes a game appearing in 28 of 29 games for the Huskies. Although he averaged only 1.4 points a game last season, this year with another year of experience under his belt, it appears that this year he will gain some more playing time off the St. Cloud State bench.
Michigan State freshman Denzel Valentine fights for the ball with St. Cloud State sophomore Keven Levandoski, nephew of Tom Izzo. (Photo Credit- Al Goldis/AP)
However, what makes Levandoski not so typical is that he just so happens to have a very well known uncle. That very well known uncle is none other than Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo. And on Friday, November 2nd, Levandoski got to square off against his uncle as St. Cloud State traveled to East Lansing to take on the Spartans in what would be Michigan State’s final preseason exhibition game of 2012.
For a large part of the game, St. Cloud State hung tough with the Spartans and even led in the early going when Levandoski came off the bench and hit a three to put his team up 10-9.
“The first shot he took was a three and it was right in our face,” Izzo said of Levandoski’s shot.
After that, the remainder of the first half was played very sloppily by Michigan State, as they turned the ball over 11 times but still managed to pull away a bit, leading at the half, 33-26.
In the second half, St. Cloud State continued to hang around, trailing by as little as ten points with ten minutes to go in the game. However, Michigan State would eventually close the game out, coming away with a victory of 62-49.
Michigan State was led by Adreian Payne, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds, Keith Appling, 13 points, 4 assists and Derrick Nix, who finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman guard Gary Harris also played well, scoring 9 points in the first half before cramping up in the second, Harris would wind up with 11 on 3-8 shooting.
Nevertheless, this game showed similar flaws in the Spartans game just as the first one did. For starters, Michigan State once again struggled with turnovers, amassing a total of 20 for this game, four of which were again from freshman Denzel Valentine, who is just trying to do a little bit too much out there. Also, Michigan State had a hard time from the free throw line again, this time missing 13 freebies, going just 15-28 from that area.
Some of the turnover problems, though, can be attributed to the fact that Izzo is constantly substituting players in and out. As a result, it is difficult for players to find a rhythm because some of these guys aren’t used to playing with each other quite yet. Regardless, it would still be nice to see that turnover number come down a little bit.
Another cause of concern from this game was the absence of sophomore guard Brandan Kearney and freshman forward Matt Costello. Kearney sat out with an apparent abdominal injury while Costello sat out for the second straight game after coming down real hard in practice. Izzo says it’s still questionable whether these guys will play against Connecticut or not.
“Costello really took a nasty fall, he’s got a bad bad bruise,” Izzo said. “I”d say Costello has a chance but if he does he just hasn’t played at all. Kearney, I hope he has a chance because the one thing he gives us: He does his job. He knows what he can do and what he can’t do and he doesn’t try to do what he can’t do.”
Looking ahead, Michigan State will have to sort out these issues over the course of the next week before they travel to Germany to take on Connecticut next Friday to kick off the 2012 college basketball season for the second straight year.
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BEST OF MAXIM
Michigan State may need a little more time to get over this one.
The Spartans have an open date next weekend, and any positive vibes they had built at the start of November were dashed when Saturday's game against Nebraska slipped away in the final seconds. Michigan State seemed to have control on a few occasions in the fourth quarter, but ended up blowing a 10-point lead in...
Nebraska senior safety Daimion Stafford had a little message for the Michigan State sidelines during the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
Ironically, the officiating crew would also give Michigan State the finger with some extra curious penalty calls down the stretch. Nebraska and the referees won 28-24.
Thanks to @TomLeyden
Michigan State men’s hoops team will don camouflage uniforms when they play Connecticut in Germany as part of the Armed Forces Classic. The game will tip off on November 9. The players and fans got a sneak preview Sunday as Tom Izzo and equipment manager Dave Pruder allowed them to practice in the camo uniforms.
Camo jerseys, shorts, socks, shoes and shoeLACES. They didn’t...
Hi all. This will be a shorter preview due to time constraints, but it’s better than nothing.
Today, MSU takes on Nebraska at Spartan Stadium at 3:30 PM ET on ABC/ESPN2. It’s a huge matchup, as Nebraska hasn’t lost to MSU (they’re 6-0 all time), and this might be the nail in the coffin for all other Legends Division teams if Nebraska wins.
Keys to the game for the Spartans...
Ok. I expected MSU to drop this one, but not like this. I expected a low-scoring affair in which the Spartans offense couldn’t pull one out. Instead, the Spartans’ offense finally performed and put up 24 but the defense couldn’t come up in the clutch and gave up 28. Ugh.
Well, here’s what I have to say:
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Darqueze Dennard intercepted a pass and appeared to run it back for a touchdown - then the return was negated by a penalty.
Later, Michigan State allowed a 38-yard pass on fourth-and-10 when a stop would have put the game out of reach.
Finally, when Dennard seemed to have broken up a third-down throw to the end zone, he was called for pass interference. At that point, the Spartans...
Michigan State Spartans defensive back Johnny Adams tried to draw a penalty against Nebraska Cornhuskers wide receiver Kenny Bell after they tussled a bit after the whistle during Saturday's college football game at East Lansing. Although the flop by Adams failed to draw the penalty, it did manage to draw attention to Adams for the overacting.
Video via ESPN. H/T Dr...
Last year Nebraska was able to hold Michigan State to three points and less than 200 yards of total offense in Lincoln. For the Huskers to come away with a win this time around, they will need to play a clean game on the road.
Taylor Martinez threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner with 6 seconds left, giving No. 21 Nebraska a 28-24 win over Michigan State on Saturday night that kept the Cornhuskers tied with Michigan atop the Big Ten Legends Division.
The Cornhuskers scored two touchdowns in the final 7:02 to erase a 24-14 deficit. The winning score was set up by a pass interference call in the...
Flopping has been an epidemic infiltrating our sporting world for quite some time now. Soccer players have always been guilty of using the tactic, but rarely has it ever been used in college football...until Saturday.With time winding down in the second quarter during a game pitting Nebraska and Michigan State, Spartans receiver Johnny Adams does his best flop routine in an attempt...
Darqueze Dennard played possibly the game of his career. 2 picks (one of which would be a 96-yard pick-six, but we’ll cover that later) and 4 tackles. Also, late in the game, Dennard had a clutch play, denying Nebraska wideout Kenny Bell a touchdown reception, only to be called back because he had “interfered” with Bell. At first glance on the scoreboard at Spartan Stadium...
On Thursday, SpartanDigest managing editor Dave Berk joined Big Red Report to preview the Nebraska/Michigan State contest.
20 Nebraska (6-2) AT Michigan State (5-4) Time: 3:30 PM EDT | Spread: Nebraska -1 1/2 The Pick: Nebraska wins, covers. Why?: I don’t buy Nebraska’s offense, but they won’t have to do much to beat Michigan State. If you can avoid turnovers and play field-position against Michigan State, you will eventually win [...]
Michigan State’s CB Johnny Adams ended up being a goat during the game, because of a block in the back penalty that he took during Darqueze Dennard’s interception return for a touchdown that had the touchdown called back. The TD would have all but sealed the game and instead kept the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the game.Meanwhile, he had this epic flop in the first half looking...
Nebraska (6-2) at Michigan State (5-4) (3:30 p.m. ET, on ABC)
Line: Even (Bovada)
Last Meeting: 2011 (Nebraska 24-3)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Taylor Martinez (QB, Neb):Taylor Martinez brings the number one offense in the B1G to East Lansing on Saturday. Nebraska has been averaging 264.1 rushing yards per game and 25.4 points per game this season, and Martinez...